So glad you could come by!
I just wanted to take a quick break while we are in the middle of the group of “Irishtown” historical blogs to update a few things about the publication of Light of the Diddicoy come March of next year.
(Also, I provided a quick description for the recent blogs about Brooklyn’s Irishtown. Look for that at the bottom of this blog).
First of all, if you’ve joined in while we’re still this far ahead of publication, I just wanted to thank you from the deepest part of me! Our email list has been growing exponentially and is now over 3,000! If you’d like to join now, there’s a link above called “Join Email List.”
Working closely with Three Rooms Press, Light of the Diddicoy’s publisher and Over the River PR, we are now beginning to set up readings for March, April and May of next year. Very exciting! We have gotten very positive and encouraging responses from places like the Brooklyn Historical Society, The Irish American Writers & Artists Inc., The Irish Arts Center, Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village, PJ Clarke’s on the Upper East Side, Guerrilla Lit Series in The Bowery, Dire Reading Series in Cambridge, MA and many, many more. It’s still too early to put up a schedule, but we’ll have one soon.
As mentioned previously, Three Rooms Press has really been pushing hard and we’ve received many positive responses about book reviews, come March. I shouldn’t name the websites, periodicals, and persons that have already given excellent feedback, but rest assured Light of the Diddicoy will be covered in many, if not all, of the most prestigious and sought-after reviewers, newspapers, magazines and websites.
Perseus Distributors too have promoted advance review copies and have done an amazing job letting all the major and smaller bookstores around the country and publishing trade magazines know about Light of the Diddicoy. It certainly seems, from the feedback we’re getting, that all the major bookstores are showing interest in a book that combines the history of New York City with Irish and Irish-Americanism and the gangs of the Brooklyn waterfront.
One of the craziest things that has happened lately is the fact that more people in Ireland have “Liked” the Light of the Diddicoy Facebook page than Americans. I have read that the Irish, per capita, read more than any other country, but WOW! It has forced us to consider a great problem for a publisher to have about making distribution in Europe a higher priority.
Light of the Diddicoy was very lucky to have quickly grabbed the attention of Peter Quinn, who has already had incredible successes in the same genre of Historical Fiction. Mr. Quinn’s fascinating book Banished Children of Eve about the “Five Points” section of Manhattan during the 1860s and the subsequent Draft Riots won the American Book Award in 1995. Mr. Quinn said of Light of the Diddicoy:
~A rich and rollicking tale of immigrant struggle… Loingsigh’s vision is epic and unflinching.
Recently, Light of the Diddicoy was endorsed by TJ English, the famous author/journalist of Paddy Whacked, The Westies and President of the Irish American Writers & Artists Inc. after he read it, stating:
~Gangsters and dock wallopers along the Brooklyn waterfront intermingle with dirty cops, labor rabble rousers and the unwashed masses of an Irish immigrant class bursting with pluck and vitality… Historical Fiction at its best.
Author Alphie McCourt (A Long Stone’s Throw), a member of the famous Irish/Brooklyn McCourt family (Malachy & Pulitzer Prize-winning Frank McCourt) said of Light of the Diddicoy:
~Eamon Loingsigh is a poet with a pickaxe-and a scalpel attached to the working end. In Light of the Diddicoy, he depicts the Brooklyn Waterfront of the early Twentieth century, and the Irish who controlled it, with hammer-blow prose and spare dialogue.
Quite a few more blurbs are expected as well, so keep your eyes peeled!
If you haven’t opened your eyes to Light of the Diddicoy, or if your friends haven’t heard of it yet, it’s time to find out! Come St. Patrick’s Day, 2014, the journey begins!
Blogs about Irishtown: After three years of research on the White Hand Gang, its members and everything that surrounded them circa 1915/1916, I found that a lot of their actions and quotes to police and newspapers all seemed to center around the past. Many of them had arrived in Brooklyn due to The Great Hunger in Ireland in the 1840s and 1850s. Still very close to their Irish history of fiercely defended communal groups which were separate from the Anglo-American, these boys were still angered at the REASON for their being born in a foreign land. Irishtown, also known as Vinegar Hill, felt itself outside of the Anglo-American law and all of the actions and words of the White Hand Gang members continued this “communality” and “outsider” feeling, even as Irishtown was flooded with Jews and Italians and other immigrants, two bridges connecting their neighborhood to Manhattan were built and the Brooklyn waterfront was built into one of the most densely populated and industrialized collection of neighborhoods in the world by 1915/1916.
In short, these gangsters of the waterfront racket were still fascinated and often referred to their neighborhood as “Old Irishtown.” Spoken with an Irish accent, as does the narrator of the book Liam Garrity and referencing things like “Auld Lang Syne” and the song “Auld Triangle,” the name of the trilogy (Light of the Diddicoy is the first book) is called Auld Irishtown.
These boys and young men existentially fought to keep the honor of their old neighborhood, even as time clicked on and the inevitability of change was taking place.
Check out the initial blog in the Irishtown collection here Finding Brooklyn’s Irishtown. The second is Code of Silence, which compares Brooklyn’s Irishtown to Manhattan’s Five Points and the most recent in the Irishtown collection is The Brooklyn Irish, which breaks down the number of Irish-born in the 1855 census and beyond.